WIP — Yes, Plastics 5

I was knackered last night so went to bed early. I followed my usual routine, large drink of water, clean teeth and retire to slumber. Usually, as the last thing before sleep, I will watch a movie or TV show on my phone. I know, it’s supposed to prevent you sleeping well but I find it relaxing … go figure! Last night I watched the first episode of Reign. I’ve been kind of caught up in the world of the Tudors recently and it was good to see how far the producers, directors and writers of the shows I have been watching have drifted from the history.

Anyway, I watched, snoozed then slept … only to awake at about three in the morning, unable initially to fall back to sleep again. So, what else does one do at three in the cool of a Singapore morning? I got up and painted for a while. Painting is a catharsis for me (as compared to cathartic for which I rely on a good, heady beer) and usually calms my mind, spirit and emotions so that I can relax. I was hoping that a 3:00 am painting session for about 30 minutes would help me to sleep again. It did.

I had decided that rather than work on all the figures in a single batch, from yesterday’s point onwards I would work on 5 or so bases at a time. That way if any of the technique or paints did not work out I only had a few to repaint rather than the whole batch.

The painting sessions yesterday and this morning were initially to get the webbing done but I decided to do some washing and dry brushing as well, just to see how things turned out.

The picture quality is not great – the phone’s camera combined with the light on the painting table tends to wash the colours together but I am quite pleased with the way that batch looks now. The wash has picked out items such as the collars on the uniform and other fine details. It has also provided an edge between the uniform and the webbing.

Next task will be to do the same for the rest of the figures, then pick out the weapons, water bottles and other smaller items such as the bayonet scabbards.

WIP — Yes, Plastics 4

I had hoped to have uniforms and webbing done but I was only using a standard sized brush (about a size 0 or 1) – the uniforms took somewhat longer to paint than expected (memo to self: “self – get a couple of bigger brushes  … when you get a job”).

Uniforms painted - now starting to look like soldiers. Note how the two figures already painted are starting to merge in with the others
Uniforms painted – now starting to look like soldiers.
Note how the two figures already painted are starting to merge in with the others

Next up – webbing and other impedimenta. Then wash, highlight and lastly pick out the weapons.

WIP — Yes, Plastics 3

No more beer money left – time to get cracking on the painting. Yesterday was a good day – two colours were added to the figures.

The first colour to go on was the hair. Yes, I gave the Tommies hair. There is enough of an area under the helmet and above the neck that if it is left flesh, well, they’ll look like a little unit of Sinead O’Connors!

Hair painted - of course, it is lucky this is not next to yesterday's picture as you wouldn't see it ... but I know it's painted :-)
Hair painted – of course, it is lucky this is not next to yesterday’s picture as you wouldn’t see it … but I know it’s painted 🙂
The tin lids are painted. The colour is Russian Uniform and used for British helmets and tanks - and by default, equipment such as 2-pdrs, mortars and MMGs.
The tin lids are painted. The colour is Russian Uniform and used for British helmets and tanks – and by default, equipment such as 2-pdrs, mortars and MMGs.

I also touched up the helmets on the painted figures as well as I want them to look like a part of the same unit. The helmet colour will soften a little as well when I apply some brown wash.

Next up – uniforms and webbing.

WIP — Yes, Plastics 2

The beer was good so the painting is underway.

The figures have been under-coated in spray black. I like to use a brown undercoat these days, works as well as the black and makes it easier to see details on the figures as they are painted but I am trying to match his other figures a little so black under-coat was the way to go.

After basing material is added, the figures have been under-coated in black
After basing material is added, the figures have been under-coated in black

After under-coating, especially when dealing with black under-coat, I like to paint the flesh next. It helps me see the other detail and generally it is the lowest part of the figure to paint (well, the face is anyway) so I can paint up to the edge of it easier.

Flesh coloured paint added to the, er, fleshy areas on the figures
Flesh coloured paint added to the, er, fleshy areas on the figures

Next up – uniforms, helmets and webbing.

WIP — Yes, Plastics

Painting some plastics for a mate here … the things I’ll do for beer money 🙂

Some British WW2 Infantry, figures in grey are from the Model Soldier coming I believe and the light brown are Zvezda. The 2-pdr base has had some modeling plaster added to it to help bed it in finally as the model was a bit unstable just attached to the wooden base.

Plastic Soldier Company in grey, Zvezda in brown
Plastic Soldier Company in grey, Zvezda in brown
A view from the other side - the 2-pdr was a challenge to construct given my fat fingers and the fine parts on it
A view from the other side – the 2-pdr was a challenge to construct given my fat fingers and the fine parts on it

Figures are just now sitting and I’m letting the glue set before adding sand to the base and undercoating. Target is to paint them by mid week.

Rapid Fire – Game 2 – Second Game in the Gun Bar – Don’t Roll Ones!

The paras and supporting elements star to move towards the village
The paras and supporting elements star to move towards the village

Loins girt (girth?) I hobbled out to the taxi with the lady and we headed up to Anthony’s at Diary Farm for the second Rapid Fire game.

Squeezing my sore leg (I used my bung knee as an excuse to catch a taxi today) into the back of the taxi we took off for the 30 minute drive. I bet you didn’t think that the red dot that is Singapore on the map is that big.

Anyway, the taxi ride was interesting as I got to see some new areas of the island, especially around the Clementi area.

We arrived and dived in to see Anthony slaving over a hot barbecue. Today’s food experiment was pizza cooked in the BBQ oven on a pizza stone. Using an Indian naan as the base, the pizza was constructed then placed in the oven to cook. Experiment successful. The pizza was great.

The new scenery - the buildings that made up the village
The new scenery – the buildings that made up the village

Anthony and I then retired to the Gun Bar to commence the game. Three companies of paras with supporting elements and a couple of Cromwell tanks with a couple of Shermans and a Firefly to arrive later had to take and hold the town.

The paras advanced across the field as the Cromwell’s advanced down the road. The AT gun deployed covering the bridge. The Cromwell’s were surprised by a German AT gun opening up on their right flank however there was only light damage to one Cromwell before a 3″ mortar barrage silenced the gun crew.

The paras advanced cautiously and used a combination of the 3″ supporting mortar, an MMG and the two Cromwell’s firing HE to ruin a couple of pieces of architecture in the village. Of course, this did not stop the panzerfausts and flame-thrower armed troops hiding in there from creating havoc a little later.

A flash of light reveals the Cromwell's moving to a position across the river allowing them to open up on the buildings
A flash of light reveals the Cromwell’s moving to a position across the river allowing them to open up on the buildings

The Shermans raced down the road and across the bridge, meeting no opposition until on the bridge. A German Hanomag opened up on the lead Sherman and caused minor damage. The Shermans pressed on and entered the village.

All was going well until a panzerfaust attached the lead Sherman. In the meantime, a flame-thrower tried to torch the second Sherman. The flame-thrower, at point blank range, was unsuccessful twice. The panzerfaust, however, was not and it managed to knock out the lead Sherman.

A reaction test followed. I needed to roll more than 1. I rolled 1 and the Shermans routed off the table. That was pretty much game over as the infantry was still behind the bocage. The only time I rolled sixes was for infantry moving through difficult going and in Rapid Fire, you deduct the roll of a six sided dice from 6″ for infantry move through difficult going. 6-6 equals 0. 😦

The Germans had some reinforcements coming as well in a bound or two in the form of two Panthers and a Tiger tank.

I draw another veil over this sad scene (I think I am cornering the veil market here).

One thing that was really neat was Anthony’s casualty markers. He had picked up one of those packets of plastic toy soldiers for about $5. They were then mounted on small metal discuss that cost about ten cents each, sprayed red and the result is a neat casualty marker.

The neat casualty marker is at the right hand end of the line
The neat casualty marker is at the right hand end of the line

The lesson from today’s wargame for aspiring wargame generals was …

Don’t Roll Ones!

Anthony’s battle report is at Battle of St Roll Ones

Rapid Fire – Game 1 – First Battle in the Gun Bar

The Paras have landed - opening moves
The Paras have landed – opening moves

Or … A Bocage too Far!

In a somewhat fortunate but at the same time unfortunate series of events, most of the Paras parachuted in close to each other with the 3″ mortar team landing on the other side of the bocage. On the hill to the left the rest of the paras landed with one of the gliders – the gliders containing Royal Engineers. The other glider can be seen having landed over in a field on the other side of the battlefield.

There were casualties from the rough glider landings with 60% of the engineers rendered hors de combat whilst the jeep that was the transport for the 6-pdr anti-tank gun in the other glider was also knocked out of action.

The good thing was that the Paras all landed together. The bad news was that they landed between a concealed MMG and a concealed StuG III. ((well the StuG III was concealed to all except the 3″ mortar team that landed next to it – it would have been a bit better had a PIAT team landed there))

On the plus side, the engineers that survived were near the tank obstacles that they would need to clear before the reinforcements arrived.

The Paras have found some cover of sorts and a smoke screen was laid
The Paras have found some cover of sorts and a smoke screen was laid

The Germans opened up on the Paras whilst they madly scrambled for cover. On the hill on the left you can see Paras making their way to the soft cover provided by the bomb craters whilst the others head to the cover of the bocage. The Paras then had the rock and a hard place choice to make – the MMG was firing on them from the village in right background whilst on the other side of the bocage the StuG waited.

At this point I will draw a sad vale veil over this scene and simple note that by the time the reinforcements arrived (two Shermans and a Cromwell) the Paras had ceased to exist as a viable force.

A good win to Anthony on the christening of his new wargames table (and a bloody nice combination of steaks and lamb chops mate from the BBQ).

Time I grabbed my copy of World War 2 Basic Infantry Tactics for Dummies I suspect.